About Spring Queen

The Spring Queen pageant is a unique event where ‘coloured’  female factory workers from the clothing and textile industry in the Western Cape of South Africa compete each year to be crowned “spring queen” of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Worker’s Union (SACTWU). Public resistance to apartheid often resulted in violent racial conflict and for the first time in the garment industry in the 1970s there were acts of retaliation to low wages in the form of strikes. It is within this climate of dissent and harsh backlashes that the Spring Queen pageant emerged around 1978. Local trade unions devised the pageant as a mode of alleviating rising tensions amongst workers. A highlight on the Cape-Town social calendar, thousands of supporters attend the final event at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town, on the edge of what used to be District Six.